Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wild life in the Bungalow Garden

Our garden is full of plants and flowers and not surprisingly wildlife.
The hard working local Mason Bee

The honey bee hard at work

Many birds come to nest in the trees and some in the downspouts and gutters...they are a constant source of entertainment and song.
Resident Flicker
we have a pair coming regularly to the suet feeder 
(the wee house with the roof, houses the suet)

 Food is, berries, rose hips, not forgetting the birdbaths...we actually cater to them.
We have a suet feeder in winter
 and a hummingbird feeder year round
Anna's Hummingbirds

In the cold of winter we bring the feeder in at last light so it doesn't freeze and then set it out at first light for the morning feed. They drink for a long time and then sit nearby "on watch" as they are very territorial and chase other hummingbirds away.
A large Coopers Hawk regularly flies through the garden and swiftly swoops up a small bird, then perches in the tall Acacia tree spits out the feathers and dines...(nature can be harsh to watch sometimes) The Hawk is a large, magnificant bird...he once flew into the kitchen window with such a loud crash that  I thought that I'd be looking out to see him dead. He was shaken up and sat for a few minutes turning his head side to side before flying off....he must have had quite the headache.
The feather collection which gets larger as time goes by

We have had a family of raccoons living in the area for as long as I have lived here...over 28 years.
They wander through the garden and eat grubs from the with planters, upend plants, dig up bulbs,  roll the garden balls around and engage in play in the various water features.
We had a pond on the deck for a few years but gave up after the nightly raids on the lilies...they'd eat one chunk out of each and leave them for us to find the next morning...we knew we were beat.

 I heard yesterday that they have recently been going into our neighbours' home through the cat door. They have discovered where the cat food is stored and opened up the cupboard and helped themselves...all while the neighbours' 2 cats and the homeowners slept upstairs completely oblivious!
The cabinet closure was modified to make it "raccoon proof" but the next night they just pried the door off it's hinges! I have it on good authority that there is a new plan in the works to "raccoon proof" the cupboard which involves reinforcing the hinges, rebuilding the door and involves a drop in magnetic closure! (whew, I am tired just thinking about it!)
I would have sealed up the cat door if it was my home...
I managed to get my camera when the family came by this morning but the first 2 had already gone over the fence...into the neighbours blackberry patch.

We also have a growing population of deer which are working their way into the city. I have seen 2 at the corner near our home and a large antlered buck 3 blocks away standing tall and proud on a rocky roses and plants will be a virtual salad bar when they saunter down the street looking for food. I'll need to move some of my prized roses into the back fenced garden or say goodbye to their blooms.
As the natural habitiat is destroyed the wildlife have no choice but to adapt and move into urban areas and share it with us...I have planted a feast, (for the eyes and the beasts)...I suppose I'll need to adapt and adopt new plantings...and live harmoniously with the wildlife.


  1. Dear Hostess, The thought of those raccoons coming through the cat flap, prising off the cupboard door, and then eating the cat food is not, I fear, a happy one. Yes,let us all encourage wild life but this is, in my view, allowing things to go that little bit too far!

    The birds [and bees] coming into your garden sound a delight and to watch them drinking and feeding must be a source of very real pleasure.

    Incidentally, apropos of nothing, I do observe more and more urban foxes in London.

  2. There is a lot going on in your place, i must say. Never a dull moment ; ) !

  3. Our house backs up to a large state park and we have have deer galore! It can be frustrating at times when they nibble (or destroy) plants. We also have a family of foxes nearby and one day my husband and I saw a Florida panther in our yard! The picture of your hummingbirds is great!

  4. Raccoons in the kitchen would be just a little much for me! Fun view of your wildlife (and wild life, too)!

  5. Dear God in Heaven, the mere thought of raccoons inside my house chills me to the bone. Have your neighbours ever watched Grey gardens? Big and Little Edie lived with them too- YUCK. Your neighbours must really love their cat door. I would be reinforcing that house so that no animal could ever gain access again.

  6. hi leslie,

    i must say your neighbors are very patient people. i can't imagine.

    i love the care you take to make sure your birds are fed year round.


  7. What a lovely blog you have you would enjoy Pine cone and Roses she is on my side bar...
    Love the racoons

  8. Edith Hope-I share your feeling about the raccoon invading the neighbours home!
    Foxes must be more prolific now that they banned the hunt.

    metscan-It can be dull here I just don't write about it...hmm maybe I should!

    jenndon-A Florida Panther! I'd be running inside to get my camera, that's pretty amazing.

    Rebecca-The raccoons would not be entertained inside the Bungalow under any circumstances!

    Faux Fuchsia-I LOVE that film Grey Gardens...such a sad story...the documentary is even more chilling.

    The Gardener's Cottage- My neighbours are both retired professors and they love animals...I am likening them to Gerald Durrell and Joy Adamson who opened their home to animals.

    Heidi-I'll pop over and pay you and Pine Cone a visit!